Tag Archives | whole grains

Homemade Granola Bars with Nuts and Seeds

Many years ago, I wrote a weekly column for the Food Network’s blog. It was called The Weekender and was designed to feature the kind of project cooking best tackled on a Saturday or Sunday. I cooked a whole bunch of things that were way out of my comfort zone during the three year period I had that gig and I learned a heck of a lot along the way.

I often go back and reference select elements of the dishes I made during that run (the spice rub on this chicken is brilliant and I use it all the time). Another technique that I’ve used and adapted a lot over the years is this one for granola bars.

It comes from an episode of Sunny Anderson’s show, Home Made in America, in which she searched out secrets from home cooks. The thing that sets this granola bar apart from others I’ve made is that it results in a nicely chewy, not-too-sweet, easy to eat snack.

The one thing I do differently from the recipe as written is that I don’t bake the bars. Once I press them into the pan, I just let them cool until they firm up. This makes it a good one for summer, because the time the oven is on is minimal.

Once the slab is cool, I cut them into bars, wrap them up in pieces of parchment paper (often using the same sheet that I lined the pan with) and then tuck them into a big jar.

They keep a couple weeks on the counter and even longer in the freezer. Oh, and if you need to avoid nuts because of allergies, omit the almonds, add more sunflower seeds, and proceed as directed.

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Sponsored Post: Craftsy’s Free Class Creative Ways with Whole Grains

quinoa and kale salad

This post is the next installment in my sponsored content partnership with Craftsy. This time, I took Anna Bullett’s Creative Ways with Whole Grains. It was an entertaining and highly useful class that reminded me of how wonderful and easy whole grain cooking can be. Read on for more!

I believe that every home cook should have at least one hearty grain salad in his or her culinary repertoire. They keep well, are customizable to nearly every food allergy and preference, travel well, and they make really excellent leftovers.

barley, cucumber and feta salad

Back in the days when I was working in an office full time, I would often make a big batch of barley, cucumber, red onion, parsley, and feta salad, and eat it for lunch all week. In addition to being a tasty and simple way to eat a good lunch, those bowls of grain salad really helped keep my grocery budget in check.

The only trouble I have with my beloved grain salads and side dishes is that I easily fall into a rut and make the same three dishes on repeat. To combat my tendency to combine the same flavors over and over again, my eyes are always peeled for fresh grain inspiration.

brown jasmine rice

A few days ago, while on the road and far away from my kitchen, I took Craftsy’s free class, Creative Ways with Whole Grains. It offered up a wealth of fresh ideas and had me itching to get back home and into the kitchen to try some of Anna Bullett’s recipes.

She starts the class with an introduction to a variety of whole grains, offers tips on how to cook them, and then makes a wheatberry salad with goat cheese that looks positively delicious. Later, she shows how to make a wild rice pilaf that would work wonderfully on a potluck or holiday table, cooks up quinoa porridge for breakfast, and turns onions, mushrooms, and farro into a creamy risotto.

quinoa in a jar

As we head into autumn (deny it all you want, it is coming), consider adding a couple of warm grain dishes to your regular rotation to help keep bellies full and satisfied.

If you want to take the Creative Ways with Whole Grains class, click here to register!

For more on my year-long partnership with Craftsy, head over to the first post in the series, all about my experience taking their free Knife Skills course.

Official disclosure statement: This post was sponsored by Craftsy. I was compensated for my time. However, all opinions remain entirely my own.

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